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An Organ Recital Extraordinary.

The London Orchestra tells a story of an organ recital at Exeter Hall, London, given when the organ was new, by Johann Schneider, of Dresden. He had been brought to London by Mr. Stammers, manager of the hall. Schneider was a great contrapuntist, and was announced for an “extemporaneous performance,” that is, he was to improvise at length a prelude and fugue. The theme of the prelude proved not very interesting, although Schneider could talk musically upon any subject. The prelude lasted ten, and then fifteen minutes. And the audience began to show signs of impatience. The fugue theme was short, stern and solid, such a theme as would evidently be supported by two, if not three, counter-subjects, and that would admit of all sorts of inversions, augmentations and diminutions in quarter-time, half-time, double-time and twice- double-time. Mr. Stammers, on behalf of the audience, requested Schneider to be brief. The audience lost their patience and cried out on all sides, “Enough,” “Leave off.” “That will do,” “Cut it short,” and still Schneider persisted with increasing elaborateness, announcing that he had just begun on the third subject and there would ensue the stretto and perhaps a coda. The audience waited only a few moments longer, and then Schneider was seized by the arms and legs and was lifted bodily from the organ bench. The audience after all were somewhat ashamed and applauded and cheered. John Schneider bowed with complacency. He had been engaged for eight performances for fifty pounds. The concerts were cancelled, although Schneider received his money just the same, and hurried back to his beloved Dresden and the beautiful Silbermann organ in the Marien Church, where he held a life appointment.

 

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